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The single-movement piece, Sonata movement in B minor was composed in 1891 at the end of four years of intensive instruction in composition with Gustav Schreck at the conservatorium in Leipzig. Although sketches in appropriate keys from early in Alfred's creative life have been found, other movements of this work have not been conclusively identified. In lists of his works, the composer only includes this movement with the title, Sonata (in one movement) for Violoncello and Pianoforte. He later transcribed it for viola and piano.
The movement nevertheless stands alone as a fine work, featuring effective melodic and harmonic contrasts, clever development of thematic material, and typical nineteenth-century employment of the sonata form.